Edo Shigemichi


Edo Clan


Hitachi Province

Lifespan:  Kōji 2 (1556) to 10/1 of Keichō 3 (1598)

Other Names:  愛千代丸 / 宮房丸 (childhood), Hikogorō

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Governor of Tajima

Clan:  Hitachi-Edo

Lord:  Satake Yoshishige

Father:  Edo Michimasa

Siblings:  Shigemichi, sister (wife of Kashima Yoshikiyo)

Wife:  [Formal] Daughter of Oyama Takatomo (younger sister of Yūki Harutomo), [Consort] Daughter of Takehara Yoshikuni

Children:  Michimasu, Mito Nobumichi, Tsuruko (Tsuruhime, adopted daughter of Yūki Harutomo, formal wife of Yūki Hideyasu, and, later, formal wife of Karasumaru Mitsuhiro)

Edo Shigemichi served as a bushō and daimyō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  Shigemichi was the ninth head of the Hitachi-Edo clan and served as the lord of Mito Castle in the Ibaraki District of Hitachi Province.

The Hitachi-Edo clan were kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Hitachi.  The clan was an offshoot of the Naka clan, a branch of the Kawanobe clan who were descendants of Fujiwara no Hidesato (an aristocrat from the middle Heian period) of the Fujiwara no Uona (a noble from the Nara period) branch of the Fujiwara-Hokke (founded by Fujiwara no Fusasaki of the Asuka period).

In 1556, Shigemichi was born as the lineal heir of Edo Michimasa, a bushō and the eighth head of the Hitachi-Edo clan.

In 1567, after his father, Michimasa, died of illness, Shigemichi inherited the headship of the clan.  Around this time, the expansion by Hōjō Ujimasa in the Kantō extended to Hitachi.  Shigemichi, acting to a degree subservient to Satake Yoshishige, opposed the invasion by the Hōjō army.  In 1570, he attended his coming-of-age ceremony and is surmised to have received one of the characters in his name from Yoshishige, adopting the name of Shigemichi.

In 1575, Shigemichi permitted monks affiliated with the Shingon sect of Buddhism protected by the Edo clan to wear silk robes.  This violated rules concerning the clothing of monks stipulated by the Imperial Court, so Emperor Ōgimachi and Oda Nobunaga jointly sent a messenger to censure him.  Shigemichi, however, used their attack against them to promote himself and, on 8/4 of Tenshō 4 (1576), was invested with the titles of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Governor of Tajima.

As the Hōjō army continued their ferocious attacks, in 1578, Shigemichi settled with the Gohōjō clan on conditions that were analogous to surrender.  Nevertheless, he shrewdly promoted himself to the Satake and the Hōjō, receiving permission to subjugate the Daijō and Kashima clans.  In 1587, he brought the Kashima District under his control and, in 1588, with reinforcements from Satake Yoshishige, forced the surrender of Daijō Kiyomoto.  His rapid course of expansion imposed a burden on members of his band of retainers such as the Kannō clan who began to abandon him, causing fissures and a precipitous decline of the Hitachi-Edo.

Thereafter, the conflict between the Edo and Daijō clans does not appear to have been resolved.  In 1590, during the Conquest of Odawara, Daijō Kiyomoto sent a letter to Hideyoshi to request an apology from Satake Yoshinobu who, upon orders of Hideyoshi, had deployed for the campaign.  In fact, Shigemichi took similar actions.  The Daijō and Edo clans had the intention of deploying for the campaign, but both feared that, while absent, their bases would be attacked by the other side so they could not deploy and desired Satake Yoshinobu, as their ally, to request Hideyoshi to intervene.

Yoshinobu viewed the situation as an opportunity to unify Hitachi, so he disregarded the request from the Edo and Daijō clans to seek intervention and, on 8/1, obtained recognition of his rights from Hideyoshi to all of the territory in Hitachi amounting to 540,000 koku.

As a result, on 12/19, Shigemichi was attacked by Satake Yoshishige, lost his base at Mito Castle, and fled for safety to the protection of Yūki Harutomo.  The Satake army continued to march southward, capturing Fuchū Castle and decimating the Daijō clan.

In 1598, Shigemichi died at the age of forty-three.  His son, Mito Nobumichi, served Yūki Hideyasu of Echizen Province.